WAKE FOREST — When it comes to cases of sudden cardiac arrest, bystander CPR can double or even triple survival rates. However, in the majority of such incidents there is no immediate help.
CPR educator Kim Harkins hopes to bring awareness to changes in how CPR is done as a part of National CPR Awareness week, this week.
Harkins said people hesitate partly because they are uncertain how to perform CPR, or they may be wary of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, she added, the recommended method has changed over the years, so now it’s simply doing chest compressions to a disco beat.
“We really encourage people just to compress on the chest, at least 2 inches, 100 times a minute. You can do it to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” she explained. “It is much easier, which takes away that fear of doing it wrong or having to give breaths.”
She noted, “doing something is always better than doing nothing.”
While cardiac arrest is generally considered an issue for those who are older, Harkins said it can happen anywhere, any time, and really at any age.
“We see younger people all the time, people who have been participating in activities who suddenly collapse. That is the population, often, with undiagnosed heart problems or congenital heart problems,” she explained.
Almost 400,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually nationwide; a majority of them happen at home.
Learn more about CPR during Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 20 Business After Hours at Southeastern Emergency Equipment (SEE), 5760 N.C. 96 West, Youngsville, 5:30-7 p.m. As a part of the gathering, SEE will hold CPR demonstrations.
More information is available at www.heart.org.